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Holiday Home Insurance in NZ

Owning a cozy bach on the picturesque New Zealand coast, or sharing your holiday house on Airbnb for those occasional summer weekends, captures the essence of the Kiwi dream.

Yet, like all cherished assets, it's vital to ensure that your holiday home is suitably insured to safeguard against unforeseen events.

It's a common misconception that insurance will be the same for both traditional rental properties and holiday homes or short-term rental properties. This often leads to the assumption that standard insurance coverage is enough.

Owning a holiday home, you're exposed to a few more unique circumstances, such as break-ins due to the property being vacant for extended periods, and accidental damage that may happen as guests stay at your property.

Whether your home is consistently available on Airbnb or reserved for personal use, it's crucial to understand the intricacies of your insurance coverage. 

We'll look at the key considerations for holiday home and short-term rental insurance.

Providing tips to help you navigate the complexities of holiday home insurance, securing peace of mind while you're savoring that hokey pokey ice cream by the beach.

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What's the difference between holiday home insurance and regular home insurance?

Standard Rental Insurance:

Standard home rental insurance in New Zealand is typically designed for properties that serve as primary residences or are constantly occupied by tenants.

This type of insurance necessitates someone living in the property for more than 60 consecutive days, and any prolonged vacancy could potentially void coverage.

  1. Designed for primary residences or properties constantly occupied by tenants.
  1. Requires the property to be occupied for more than 60 consecutive days.
  1. Prolonged vacancy could potentially void the coverage.
  1. Typically covers standard risks such as fire, theft, and certain types of water damage.
  1. May not cover damage caused by tenants or loss of rental income.

Holiday Home Insurance:

On the flip side, holiday home insurance caters to secondary residences, often used intermittently for vacations or short-term rentals.

These properties might stand vacant for extended periods, posing unique risks such as an increased likelihood of break-ins, damage from frequent tenant turnover, and undetected damage due to infrequent occupancy.

These specific risks, inherently different from those associated with regular home insurance, necessitate tailored holiday home policies.

  1. Designed for secondary residences, often used intermittently for vacations or short-term rentals.
  1. Covers properties that may stand vacant for extended periods.
  1. Provides coverage for unique risks such as an increased likelihood of break-ins and damage from frequent tenant turnover.
  1. Covers undetected damage due to infrequent occupancy.
  1. Tailored policies that may include coverage for loss of rental income, guest injuries, and accidental damages.
  1. May offer optional coverage for damage, theft, and loss of rent if you host guests.

Check if your current insurance adequately covers your holiday home

Holiday home insurance in New Zealand covers unique risks linked to short-term rentals, including rental income loss, guest injuries, and accidental damages, which regular home insurance may not cover.

It also ensures protection during extended vacancy periods, a time when standard home rental coverage could lapse, so it is best to check with your current provider to see if you are covered.

What About the Airbnb Host Guarantee if We're Listed on Airbnb?

If your bach is listed on Airbnb, you might be familiar with the Airbnb Host Guarantee. It's a comforting promise, offering a safety net against damages caused by guests.

But don't mistake this for a comprehensive insurance policy. The Host Guarantee, while helpful, has its own set of limitations and exclusions.

It doesn't extend to cash, securities, pets, or certain types of property damage like ordinary wear and tear. Plus, claiming under this guarantee can sometimes be a bit of a rigmarole, requiring substantial documentation and time.

So, even if your holiday home is part of the Airbnb community, it's still essential to have a robust holiday home insurance policy and make sure you understand the Airbnb Host Guarantee.

Choosing the Right Insurance Provider

Choosing an insurance provider for your holiday home isn't just about ticking boxes. It's about finding a partner that understands the unique nuances of holiday home ownership. One such provider that's worth considering is Initio.

Initio's holiday home insurance is comprehensive, covering everything from full house replacement to guest-related incidents. They also offer a standard cover for the fixed contents of your home, with the flexibility to increase this if needed.  


Holiday home insurance can seem complex, but it's an essential part of owning a bach or a holiday house. The key takeaway is that standard home insurance may not provide adequate coverage for the unique risks associated with holiday homes.

It's crucial to find a provider that understands these nuances, like Initio, and offers a comprehensive policy tailored to your needs.

Remember, the goal is not just to protect your property, but to ensure that you can enjoy your holiday home without worry.

So, take the time to review your coverage, understand the terms, and make sure your insurance is fit for purpose.

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